SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Ferries Another Batch Of Starlink Satellites, Crashes On Return

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SpaceX has successfully launched the next batch of 60 satellites for Starlink. However, the Falcon 9 rocket failed to land after returning to Earth. Originally, the Starlink satellite launch was scheduled to lift off on Sunday, February 16. However, the weather conditions delayed the launch by 24 hours, where it took off on February 17.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Ferries Another Batch Of Starlink Satellites

 

SpaceX Starlink Satellites Launched

The SpaceX Starlink project is the ambitious plan to create a massive constellation of small broadband satellites to beam back internet for users on Earth. The latest launch brings up the total number of satellites to 300.

Presently, SpaceX has the FCC's approval to operate in 12,000 satellites with the Starlink project. The company plans to seek permission for up to 30,000 more satellites for beaming internet. As part of the initial plans, SpaceX will launch 1,584 satellites that will beam internet over North America.

Falcon 9 Fails To Land

The Starlink satellite launch marked the fourth time the Falcon 9 took off for a space mission. Previously, the rocket had launched two commercial resupply missions. It was followed by the launch of a massive telecommunication satellite in December 2019.

Unfortunately, the Falcon 9 failed to land on SpaceX's drone ship landing platform "Of Course I Still Love You" in the Atlantic Ocean. If successful, it would have created a new milestone for the private space company, recovering 50 boosters.

 

The Falcon 9 rocket did make a 'soft landing' in the ocean next to the drone ship. SpaceX believes that the rocket is still intact. The company believes that the missed landing could be due to the change in orbit for the satellites. The Starlink satellites were placed into an elliptical orbit that required the rocket to function harder. This, in turn, resulted in a difficult landing.

SpaceX isn't the only company building a mega constellation to beam internet. Other companies like OneWeb and Amazon are also planning to build one. Many astronauts and scientists fear that such satellite constellations can cause considerable damage to the Low Earth Orbit, where all these satellites will be sent.

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